Letter from Wales: the 2013 Motor Sports Association Euroclassic rally

by Julian Ruck

And what has all this to do with Labour grassroots I hear all you readers say?

Well the editors have asked me to write a piece about the above, so don’t blame me!

Something to do with the ‘hinterlands’ of columnist personality, they tell me. I hope you can make some sense out of this because I sure as hell can’t?

Anyway, a change from political smarty- pants observation certainly isn’t going to do any harm, so do please indulge me.

My pal, a Pontypryddian socialist GP no less (he is known to swig at the odd bottle of Moet but let’s not hold that against him) and my good self, are off on a classic car rally today. The car?  A Welsh Gilbern Invader MK 3 two door coupe – and yes I know, even the Welsh firm who built ‘em eventually went bust but don’t worry I’m not going to start on non-private sector Wales here.

The rally is intended to take us from Dover to Luxembourg – actually, we’ll be damned lucky to get two miles outside Llanelli before a convoy of obliging  RAC vans and a few tow-trucks are called out, that’s classic cars for you and  believe me I know, the good doctor has been torturing me with ‘em for more than 13 years now, and me with a heart condition, so much for care in the community eh?!

Dr Anthony is the driver and I’m the navigator, that’s a good one, the only thing I can navigate my way around is the The Good Pub Guide!

On a more serious note, production of the Gilbern was started in Llantwit Fadre  Pontypridd, Dr Anthony’s home town, way back in 1959. A Welsh butcher GILes Smith and a German engineer BERNard Friese (thus the name Gilbern) got together to build the first truly Welsh sports car.

Only 212 Gilbern Invader MK 3’ were ever made, and Dr Anthony’s Gilbern still displays the distinctive four Welsh Red Dragon motifs on its bodywork.

It was advertised at the time as ‘Gilbern, the rare breed’ and ‘Drive out the Invader’; well the Welsh doctor and Welsh author will be invading Europe alright, so eat your heart out Owen Glyndwr!

For all you classic car enthusiasts , we’ll be taking part in the 2013 Motor Sports Association Euroclassic Rally from Dover Castle to Luxembourg via France , Belgium and Germany form Fri Sat 6th Sept to Fri 13th Sept. calling in at  various castles (to keep me happy, I’m a history buff, Dr Anthony is a petrol-head), car museums ( Porsche and Mercedes Benz) and some European Motor Racing circuits.

So, here’s to happy motoring – fingers and legs crossed! Before I go, I did draw the line when Dr Anthony tried to name his Gilbern ‘Genevieve’, look what happened there!

Julian Ruck is an author, columnist and Freedom of Information campaigner. He also makes contributions to both Welsh and national broadcasting and media

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14 Responses to “Letter from Wales: the 2013 Motor Sports Association Euroclassic rally”

  1. jim Gordon says:

    I too love classic cars I hope you enjoy the rally 🙂

  2. stevemosby says:

    “And what has all this to do with Labour grassroots I hear all you readers say?”


    “Something to do with the ‘hinterlands’ of columnist personality, they tell me. I hope you can make some sense out of this because I sure as hell can’t?”


  3. James says:

    Well, congratulations on getting Mr Ruck to write a piece about something he knows about.
    On the day it turns out that Unite is cleared of voterigging in Falkirk, it would be interesting to see whether Mr Ruck wishes to nuance his bilious and ignorant piece about Labour and the unions last week.
    I hope he drives better than he writes.
    Or do I…?
    (a joke, not a death threat – don’t get the cops onto me please Julian)

  4. Les Abbey says:

    On the day The NEC exonerates Unite Labour Uncut carries this article. How strange is that?

  5. To stevemosby

    That’s because you’re blinkered…G.K.B.

  6. James Marshall says:

    What a load of crap.

    Hinterlands of columnist personality? Well this is one personality you would like to thoroughly distance yourself from Labour Uncut.

    Do a quick google search of Julian Ruck and you find many articles that reveal him to be a horrid man and a charlatan, this is one example;


    and another


    and another


    The man is a joke, under informed, prone to write fantasies on this blog (when not plagiarising tory blogs). Why, Labour Uncut, do you publish his utter rubbish ‘politics’ articles, and why do you publish this utter shit?

    Remember. You. Are. A. Serious. Political. Blog.

    Lose this clown, soon, please.

  7. swatantra says:

    Its a metaphor I think of the way of the World: Old Bangers and Mass Rallies and that you can’t beat that good old German engineering.

  8. “To stevemosby

    That’s because you’re blinkered…G.K.B.”

    Then if you follow your own logic that must apply equally to Mr Ruck, since Steve was simply agreeing with him.

  9. Mr Akira Origami says:

    More on ‘hinterlands’ of personality…..


    Carwyn Jones doesn’t like classic car rallies or transparency but loves his rugger.

  10. jo horrocks says:

    What a moron. Why do you carry articles by this weirdo?

  11. John Abell says:

    What a stupid article.

    I think James Marshall about sums Julian’s personality up in the above comment.

    For a man who claims to want to debate with Welsh publishers, but apparently never seems to get it it, I find it bizarre that Julian cancelled his debate with the head of Parthian books, Richard Davies, at the Penfro literature festival.

    The classic car jolly looks fun, but if Julian cares about taxpayer grants to publishers so much, in fact seems to be on a one man crusade on the topic, then surely he should of attended that instead to further his cause and his principles? A cause that Julian has only taken up after successive rejections.

    To have a cause that he apparently holds so dear, and to be given the chance to debate which he claims he has been denied so long, and then to go on holiday instead shows just how much of a charlatan he is.

    Anyone who wants real Welsh politics, pleas look for it elsewhere.

  12. Point of Information @ John Abell

    I cannot agree it is “bizarre’ that julian ruck is not attending Penfro Lit.Festival.

    Mr.Ruck did not “cancel” a request to appear at Penfro : he declined to accept the

    kind invitation of Mr.Davies.

  13. John Abell says:

    Then Julian has got to stop the lie that no one in Welsh publishing will debate with him, as that evidently is not the case?

    So it transpires that it is Julian, in fact, who is turning down debates regarding grants and not, in fact, Welsh publishers.

    Julian should stop telling his all to frequent porky pies and admit that, however he tries to spin it, publishers have always been willing to debate with him.

    Gill, for a man who expresses such concerns on publishing grants (however unscrupulous his motive) and is offered a chance to debate it in public with a publisher, but then turns it down after moaning he never gets offered the debate in the first place and instead goes on a jolly. That is bizarre, shows cowardice and a total lack of principle.

  14. stevemosby says:

    To GKB

    “That’s because you’re blinkered”

    Not at all. When I was seven years old, starting my first year at Newlaithes Junior School, my form teacher gave everyone in the class a small jotter, in which we were encouraged to write down reports on various assignments. Such assignments included “what are you going to do on your holidays?” (and then later, perhaps in an attempt to rub our innocent fantasies up against the face of harsh reality, “what did you actually do on your holidays?”)

    Regardless, I remember the thrill of finally filling that enormous jotter page, and then seeing the look of contentment on my teacher’s face. I was very pleased with myself. Of course, I recognise now that the jotter page was actually very small, along with my account, and that my teacher was probably only pretending to be pleased at what must, to her, have been yet another boring jotter page written in sub-standard English by a seven year old. Most likely, she just wanted to go home and get drunk, but she had a job to do.

    I am not blinkered, I promise. I understand everyone here.

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